Tonefiend reader Scott S. hipped me to a fabulous little article that just appeared in the online edition of The Atlantic: a history of artificial reverb that’s both technically savvy and fun to read. Author William Weir covers all the right gizmos: echo chambers, plates, springs, tape echo, custom convolution reverbs (which I wrote about here), and Duane Eddy’s 2,000-gallon water tank. Plus there’s lots of of fascinating historical speculation: Did Stonehenge draw some of its ritualistic power from its unique acoustic properties? Did the long reverb times of medieval cathedrals hasten the birth of polyphony?
Quick! Can you name the first hit to feature fake reverb? You will after you read this fine piece!